US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that the United States aimed to deepen relations with Hungary.
While the United States had kept its distance from central Europe, the vacuum had been filled by its competitors, Pompeo said, adding that this was “unacceptable”.
At a joint press conference held together with Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, Pompeo welcomed the signing of a defence cooperation agreement and Hungary’s acquisition of military equipment from the US.
Commenting on the situation in Ukraine, he said
Russian President Vladimir Putin must not be allowed “to drive a wedge between our friends and NATO”.
The secretary of state also criticised China and expressed wariness of its attempts to create a bridgehead in Europe.
“Shaking hands” with China results in serious economic and political dependence, he said.
Russia and China do not share the endeavours of free countries, he added.
Pompeo announced a scholarship scheme for Hungarian secondary school students, but increased support would also go towards fighting corruption, he added.
He said the US wanted to strengthen police cooperation, adding that there were plans to set up mentoring and training programmes.
Commenting on the issue of diversifying Hungary’s gas acquisition, he said this was a matter of national security. Every European country aims to secure alternative energy resources, he added.